Catholic Times is pleased to recognize the following religious sisters and one religious brother who have lived in or served in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and are celebrating a significant jubilee in 2017.

These people surely deserve our thanks, respect, admiration and prayers for selflessly and courageously answering the call to serve God’s people. Read on to see if you recognize someone who has made a difference in your life or in the life of someone you know.

On the Friday within the Octave of Easter, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained three seminarians to the transitional diaconate during an evening Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.

Hundreds of people were at the Cathedral on April 21 in support of Robert Paul Johnson, Aaron Thomas Kuhn and Mark Walker Tracy as they received the sacrament of holy orders, ordaining them to deacons as a transitional step toward being priests for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

Father Roy Bauer, 83, a long-time priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, died late in the evening on April 21, in Blessing Hospital.

Father Bauer was born in Quincy on March 27, 1934, the son of Albert and Irene (Hummel) Bauer. As a child, he attended St Francis Grade School.

Father McGivney Catholic High School (FMCHS) has named Joe Lombardi as new principal effective July 1, 2017.

Lombardi, a resident of Edwardsville, is currently a coach and chair of the science department at Belleville West High School where he has taught for the past 18 years.

Dr. Robert Gervasi, president of Quincy University, is leaving at the end of the academic year to become president of Ohio Dominican University in Columbus.

During his tenure at Quincy, Gervasi has helped to raise significant funds for the university by connecting both alumni and community members to the campus.

Priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will join Bishop Thomas John Paprocki for the annual priests’ jubilee celebration on Tuesday, May 9 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center at Lake Springfield.

Silver jubilarians this year are Father Rodney Schwartz and Father Donald Patrick Gibbons. The golden jubilarian this year is Msgr. Michael Kuse. Celebrating 55 years of service this year are Father Philip Kraft, Father Ronald Trojcak, Father Jerry Wickenhauser, MM, and Father Joseph Zimmerman, OFM. Celebrating 60 years of service are Father Louis Schlangen, Father Henry Schmidt and Father Kenneth Rosswog, OFM. Celebrating 65 years is Father Sylvano Pera, OFM. And finally, celebrating 70 years is Father Vincent Elsen, OFM.

On the Friday of Easter Week, April 21, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will ordain three men to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The ordination will take place during 6:30 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Recently, Robert “Rob” Johnson, Aaron Kuhn and Mark Tracy took time to share their thoughts on their upcoming ordinations.


HIGHLAND — If there were a single theme that could have described the banquet sponsored by Relevant Pregnancy Options Center at the Knights of Columbus Hall, March 11 it would have been the word “fragile.”


Bishop Thomas John Paprocki greeted those who gathered March 29 for Life Advocacy Day at the Capitol with a post-election legislative take on the snake tempting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

“The devil is the father of lies and just as the snake [the devil] tempts Eve and Adam to eat the forbidden fruit … the devil lies about abortion and he lies about its impact,” said Bishop Paprocki.

Sunday, 16 April 2017 12:01

Church welcomes 320 new members

The Easter Vigil is the premier time each year for the making of Catholic adults through the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation. For the purposes of baptism, “adults” are those of catechetical age (about the age of 7 and older). This year, in 63 parishes and one university within the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, 320 people will have come to the Easter Vigil to celebrate rites that will have joined them to the Catholic Church.


Although the Easter Vigil is the normative time for the baptism of adults and children of catechetical age (about the age of 6 or 7 and older), it is not the only time the Roman Catholic Church “makes” new Catholics. Infants of Catholic parents are regularly baptized soon after birth.


For a lifetime of contributions to their Catholic health ministry, the Catholic Health Association (CHA)has announced that two Springfield-based sisters will receive its “Lifetime Achievement Award.”


Award-winning preacher, teacher, spiritual director and radio talk show guest Father Albert Hesse, OFM, will be the keynote speaker at WDCR 88.9/96.5 Decatur Catholic Radio’s sixth Annual Dinner, April 27.


Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and diocesan Pastoral Council chair Mike Christie presided at the first prayer and listening session from their location in Charleston.  Others gathered in Alton, Quincy, Jacksonville, Decatur and Chatham participated via Skype.

On the weekend of March 4-5, which was the first weekend of Lent, 319 people from 62 places (61 parishes and the Eastern Illinois University Newman Center) came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to take part in the Rite of Election of Catechumens and of the Call to Continuing Conversion of Baptized Catholics. They were accompanied by the priests, deacons, sponsors, godparents, families and friends who traveled with them.

Like its flashy television sibling, your chance of finding the right radio station that delivers the niche programming you enjoy continues on its upward trajectory. Perhaps the ultimate “niche” programming is religious programming. And Catholic radio, more specifically, is growing, albeit at a much quieter (think “contemplative”) pace.

Peter Chineke, a seminarian for the Springfield diocese, was among 18 students at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology to be received into the ministry of lector on March 2 in the seminary’s St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of the archdiocese of Louisville presided at the installation.

Two international priests who serve at parishes in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois became new citizens on Feb. 10.

Father Valery Safari Burusu, parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish, Taylorville; St. Rita Parish, Kincaid and Holy Trinity Parish, Stonington became a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony at the historic Old State Capitol in Springfield. Also taking the oath of citizenship was Father Macario Torres-Torres, OFM, a native of Mexico and parochial vicar at St. Francis Solanus Parish in Quincy.

A funeral Mass was held March 10 for Dr. James C. Forstall of Springfield who died March 3 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.

Forstall, 85, was a member of St. Agnes Parish and served the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for many years in several capacities including, among other things, a member of the Black Catholic Commission. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki conferred the Magnificat Award on Forstall in 2013.

Kara Rapacz, current assistant principal specializing in curriculum and instruction, has been selected as Sacred Heart-Griffin High School’s (SHG) new principal for the 2017-2018 school year. The Sherman native is a doctoral candidate in the educational leadership program at Concordia University.

Father Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross will present “Sacred Relics of the Saints: Treasures of the Church” at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield on Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m.

Father Martins’ special ministry aims to teach about the exposition of the holy objects. He will bring with him more than 150 relics, some as old as 2,000 years.

Amber Cerveny has begun her new responsibilities as development coordinator for Catholic Charities.

“Amber brings a great deal of enthusiasm and knowledge to her new position,” said Steven Roach, executive director of Catholic Charities. “She has expressed her genuine passion for the mission of Catholic Charities and is eager to put her faith in action.”

Sunday, 05 March 2017 12:51

March 17: corned beef conundrum

When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, as it does about every seven years, the Lenten rule requiring Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays collides with the long-held tradition of eating corned beef and cabbage.

The two occasions meet this year. March 17 marks the celebration of St. Patrick — known as the Apostle of Ireland for his years of missionary work there — and it also is a celebration of all things Irish and even green. The timing has not gone unnoticed by some U.S. bishops. However, a dispensation is not the case in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

HIGHLAND — The Knights of Columbus Council #1580 held its 29th annual Vocations, Newman Center and Pro-Life Banquet on Feb. 19 at the K.C. Hall in Highland.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois was in attendance to accept $16,500 from the Knights to help support the young men who are studying to be priests in the Springfield diocese.

During a 1987 address to the black community in New Orleans, St. Pope John Paul II proclaimed that the “black cultural heritage enriches the church and makes her witness of universality more complete.”

The highly successful “Word of God” revival held two years ago at Christ the King Parish in Springfield has convinced the diocesan Black Catholic Commission to schedule another, this time at St. Patrick Church, 407 E. Eldorado St. in Decatur on March 12-13 at 7 p.m. The revival project was the brainchild of former Commission member Father Fernand Cheri, OFM, now auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese in New Orleans.

LITCHFIELD — Holy Family Parish, located at 410 S. State in Litchfield, will hold a Lenten mission on March 26, 27 and 28, beginning at 7 p.m. each evening.

The speaker will be the Father Denis Robinson, OSB, president-rector of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, located in St. Meinrad, Ind. His topic will be “Renewing the American Parish: Trajectories for the Future.”

Father Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross will present “Sacred Relics Of The Saints: Treasures Of The Church” at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield on Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m.

Father Martins’ special ministry aims to teach about the exposition of the holy objects. He will bring with him more than 150 relics, some as old as 2,000 years.

Lowell Brosamer will bring to a close later this month 35 years as an administrator at St. Teresa High School in Decatur.

Brosamer retires March 30 as chief executive of the school’s education foundation for the past 17 years. Prior to that he was principal at St. Teresa from 1981 through 1999.

Becky Bauerle, youth minister for Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Maryville, has been accompanying young people to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., for nearly three decades, but this year’s trip really stands out, she said.

“This was my 29th year to go and I’m sure this year’s march was the largest march in history. It was huge,” Bauerle said. “Even the atmosphere was different. I talked to the vendors who were there, because they have a good idea about the crowds. They said this was an extra-large march and they thought there were more pro-life marchers than had been at the (protest) marches earlier in the month. And they said we were a lot nicer group.”

Sunday, 19 February 2017 09:21

House Bill 40 looms in Illinois House

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki issued the above letter to alert pastors and parishioners in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois of the urgency in contacting their lawmaker to stop House Bill 40 from passing.

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